It took its sweet time, but spring has finally sprung. And that means pedicure ideas, designs, and colors have shot to the top of our beauty mood board.
There are few things more satisfying than the first pedi of the season, and the nail trends 2023 has in store for our toes are every bit as beautiful as the ones on our fingers. Let's be honest, the answer to how often should you get a pedicure lengthens dramatically for most of us in winter. But, paying your toes some attention and trying out exciting new pedicure ideas can be a creative and cost-effective way to spark joy ahead of sandal season.
Wondering which colors are trending for 2023? "Primary reds are going to be the latest Y2K trend to have a resurgence," says MiiCosmetics nail expert, Samantha Kendrew – "there’s nothing classier paired with Breton stripes and cut-off jeans." Kendrew also predicts big things for Barbiecore pink, pastel French tips, and milk tones. Meanwhile, Cult Beauty has reported a 740% increase in Pinterest searches for floral nails and a 645% spike for color-clash pink and red nails. Feeling inspired? Whether you’re booking in at the salon or planning to nail how to do a home pedicure we've got all the pedicure ideas you need.
50 pedicure ideas, picked by our beauty editor
1. Matchy-matchy mani-pedi
French tip nails are undoubtedly one of this year's biggest trends, and this cute combo shows how you can complement your French manicure without having to attempt complicated French tip toenails. We love the sunny orange color too – it's cheerful and flattering.
2. Matte watermelon pedicure
This gorgeous look shows how much impact something as simple as a change in texture can have. You can either buy a matte topcoat to switch up the finish of your favorite polish, or many salons offer dip powder nails pedicures for that ultra-matte look.
3. Leopard statement toe
Wearing nail art on the big toe only in a monochromatic tone is a sophisticated way to try a jazzy design on your feet. You'll need a very steady hand and a striping brush to try this at home or try a nail wrap sticker to cheat the look.
4. Burgundy shimmer
If moody hues are your thing, there's no need to force yourself to wear brights just because the skies are blue. This deep red wine tone is livened up with a shimmery finish that looks particularly good on squared-off toenails. In a rush? Our guide to how to dry nail polish fast can help you hurry things along a bit.
5. Speckled pink pop
This eye-popping pink with a speckled design will get you noticed but also gel with almost any outfit or skin tone. To create the feature toe, use black polish and a striping brush or a very skinny eyeliner brush. The beauty of this look is that the little splotches are supposed to be uneven, making them far easier to achieve at home than perfect polka dots.
6. Pastel sparkle
Pastel tones always look sweet and spring-like, and the glossy finish plus sparkly accents here keep the look flattering. Pick up a packet of nail jewels to create the look at home, or simply dot a glitter polish on for a similar effect.
7. Icy blue pedi
If nail art and complicated designs aren't really your thing, picking an unusual color is a great way to liven up a single-tone pedicure. This powdery ice-blue hue is so on-trend for 2023, and particularly flatters medium to deep skin tones.
8. Bronze shimmer
Something about this pedicure idea just radiates holiday vibes. But you don't need to be jetting abroad to enjoy this luxe look, a few coats of finely-milled glitter polish (or plump Bio Sculpture nails created in the salon) will bring a shimmering, sun-drenched feel to wherever you are.
9. Luxurious lavender touches
You'll be seeing a lot of lavender in trend roundups. The combination of block colors and arty statement nail design makes this one of the boldest pedicure ideas, but it's a brilliantly striking look.
10. Wearable sparkle
Sometimes the subtle details can be the most effective. The shimmer detailing on the nail bed of the big toe adds just the right amount of sparkle without looking OTT. Take the detailing onto the whole pedicure for fancy events.
11. Blue sky ombre
Get creative and blend some colors together for a unique, joyful watercolor nails look. When it comes to pedicure ideas, this is a simple but effective option. Apply a small amount of nail polish to the bottom, and swipe on a clashing color to the top. Use a makeup sponge to blend the tones together, and finish off with a top coat.
12. Surprisingly stylish stickers
Adding fun jewels or stickers will create a statement look to go along with party makeup, without having to faff with intricate nail art. It's especially handy if you haven't got a steady hand for tiny brushes and patterns. Apply nail stickers to the area and cover them with a top coat to seal them in place.
13. French pedicure
Blame the 90s revival, but the French manicure is back with a bang. Subtle, subdued but still stylish – it's a look that goes with everything and adds a bit of doneness to everyday outfits. It makes sense, then, that the trend has found its way down to our feet too. You don't have to stick to just nude and white though – go for bolder colors to mix things up.
14. Marbled moment
If you're feeling creative, experiment with some more abstract pedicure ideas to challenge yourself. The marbled effect here makes a statement without being OTT and is a great grown-up way of incorporating color and patterns. The touches of gold up the ante too.
15. Cherry picked pedi
Pedicure ideas don't have to be so serious – add some fruity fun with this retro cherry print design. The design is surprisingly simple to achieve too. Use the end of a makeup brush (the best makeup brushes for this are generally skinny liner brushes) and dip it into a red polish to create the cherries, then follow on with a skinnier brush to create the stems. It's perfect for pairing with red polish and rockabilly gingham print.
16. Primary red toes
It's not all about out there designs and prints – block colors can be just as effective. The perfect orange-toned red is the ideal, goes-with-every-shoe shade for a pedicure. This glossy finish completes the look perfectly. Apply another layer of topcoat to boost shine a few days after painting.
17. Kitsch colour-pop
Go artistic with multiple patterns and prints, for a fun, kitsch feel. Paint your base coat and block color, then once it's fully dry add your designs. Think smiley faces, rainbows, and flowers.
18. Abstract milk nails
Add some luxe factor to nude pedicure ideas by adding touches of gold. You can do this by applying gold leaf, or applying gold nail polish to your perfectly-painted pedicure.
19. Pristine white nail polish
It may not be for everyone, but a few coats of white nail polish is simple, effective, and works brilliantly with deep skin tones. There's something about a white pedicure that just feels clean and pristine (provided you've been keeping on top of your foot care with the best foot creams, nail shaping et al) It will pair perfectly with all shoes and clothes and is one of those simple pedicure ideas that's fuss-free and effective.
20. Rainbow sparkle stripes
For a real statement, mix multiple tones with some glitter for an all-out fun pedicure. Sticking to pastel shades as they have done here helps dial down the look a tiny bit, stopping it from looking too circus-like (unless that's the look you're going for). To get this look without having to paint any stripes, paint a different tone on each toe, then go in with some glitter.
21. Merlot tones
This wine-inspired hue is a great go-to pedicure color. It's wearable but still stylish and will look just as good with your gold strappy heels for date night as it will with your Birkenstocks for weekend mooching. Curved edges help finish off the look perfectly.
22. Pineapple pedi
This fruity design may be one of those looks that's easier to achieve on someone else, rather than hunching over your own toes for an hour. If you can't go pro, rope in your artistic niece or daughter to give this a go. She'll need detailing brushes and a steady hand – a great way to keep them occupied on a rainy Sunday. We love the mix of yellow and nudes on the other toes too, to add an extra element of design.
23. Go for graphic lines
This blue-toned gray is a lovely wearable shade that will suit all ages and skin tones. Add a designer-inspired element by adding linear detailing in a clashing color. If you're DIY-ing it, practice on some paper before trying it out on your nails – it'll only take a few tries to master it, as it's such a simple design.
24. Barely-there posy pink
We immediately bookmarked this as one of the first pedicure ideas we'll be asking for at our next salon appointment. It's the perfect not-quite-nude, not-quite-pink shade that offers a really sleek, chic finish. Paler colors are usually best painted by professionals as they're less likely to streak and work best with pampered feet, so treat yourself to a salon appointment if you're going for this look.
25. Emerald city sparkle
Emerald green is one of those colors that looks luxurious without any effort. This iridescent shade in particular has us swooning. The square shape helps add a graphic dimension – paint two thin coats and finish off with a high-shine topcoat to seal in the color and boost gloss.
26. Love heart pedicure
Hearts aren't just for Valentines day nails! This simple twist and swish adds a romantic, pretty feel to any pedicure. We love the classic red and white color combination, but it would also look beautiful with bolder clashing tones – think orange and pinks, and greens and blues.
27. Iridescent glitter
Sparkly pedicure ideas are perfect for weddings or big events, taking the party all the way down to your feet. This cream shade helps give glitter a more grown-up feel, while still adding the fun factor.
28. Flower pedicure
You can't go wrong with a bit of flower power. This daisy nail art design adds just a touch of florals and is the perfect way to try out some nail art ideas. Paired with nude it becomes more subdued, but you could always pair it with brighter shades like pinks and purple.
29. Cornflower blue hues
A medium blue with hints of green, cornflower blue is a shade that works all year round and suits all skin tones. Pairing the soft pastel color with a square nail shape adds a nice bit of contrast too – this is a pedicure look we'll definitely be trying.
30. Golden touch
Gold pairs so well with nude, so this color combination is a no-brainer for pedicures. Paint your toes in shimmery gold and paint the big toe in the best-suited nude. Then apply the same gold along the nail bed to tie the whole look together.
31. Rainbow confetti
The combination of multicolored rainbow shades and sequin dots makes this pedicure look a serious joy-sparker. You can either dot multiple shades onto a plain block colour, or layer up nail stickers. It's the perfect way of adding interest to plain outfits.
32. Neon effect pedicure
We love this artistic look. The combination of neon pink blended with white gives a really color-popping effect that makes the bright pink look even bolder. It's all about layering and blending the two tones together. Use a sponge to get the effect, or show this to your nail technician for a professional finish.
33. Stipes and gold blocks
Taking on multiple trends in one, this striped pedicure has a lot going on, without being too busy. The key is sticking to two tones, which helps keep it cohesive. The mix of block colors, glitter, and stripes work well together as the colors are subdued and wearable.
34. Pedi with Love
Whilst the rest of the nails are painted with a block red, we recommend visiting a nail artist to ensure a quality finish on the intricate design on your big toe. Alternatively, if you're determined to crack nail art, we recommend applying a couple of coats of white nail varnish, before topping with nail stickers to your big toes and tying the look together with a quality top coat.
35. Sunset Inspired Nails
To achieve the base ombré sunset look, start by applying the lightest yellow shade, then apply the orange, and the pink, before gently blending with a makeup brush until you have achieved your desired blend. Wait to dry and then use a small liner brush to paint the palm trees on each big toe. Finish with a top coat and you have created a sunset-inspired, dreamy pedicure, perfect for your next vacation.
36. Subtle Heart Design
If you're looking to ease yourself into nail art, these nails are a perfect DIY job. Start by selecting a muted color for your base coat, such as this charcoal tone. Let it dry completely, then, using a small makeup brush, paint on the heart. Simple also means elegant – there's no need to overcomplicate things!
37. Tie Dye Nails
Tie-dye toenails can be achieved with a makeup brush or toothpick if this is a DIY job. If using a toothpick, paint three colors onto your nail before using a toothpick to combine the colors before it dries. If looking for a thorough blurred effect, follow the same method but blot with a makeup sponge.
38. Fourth of July Nails
Celebrate the holiday by incorporating some festivities into your pedi. If nail art is on the bottom of your list of priorities on 4th July, we advise going to a salon for ease. Ask each toe to be a different style, using red, white, and blue as your inspiration. You could opt for a variation on a colored French manicure, star nail art, or something more elaborate. Your big toenail is also a great canvas for exploring different designs so let your nail artist get creative.
39. Mermaid Nails
We love these mermaid-inspired nails, perfect to set the scene when you're by the pool or the beach. These nails can be easily created at home. Start with a couple of coats of a bright base and draw on the shell design using a very skinny makeup brush on each big toe, before topping them with gold fishtail-style patterns.
40. Elevated White Polish with Nail Art
Start by prepping your base with at least two coats of white nail varnish before using a small makeup brush to paint on the leaf design. If you're worried about doing this at home, visit your local nail artist and let them take the lead. Finish with a top coat to cement the design.
41. Sea-themed Nails
This design is a little more intricate to complete at home, so we recommend visiting your nail salon. The starfish design is a great way to elevate a block color pedicure, the contrasting colors offset the green base coat which is more flattering on paler skin.
42. Red Hot Nails
If you're looking to make a statement with your nails this spring, look no further than the red-hot pedicure. This is the perfect statement pedicure idea to trial at home as this striking look can be achieved without added nail art. We recommend moisturizing your feet before applying two coats of red nail varnish and completing it with a top coat. To keep your feet looking extra healthy, finish with some cuticle oil.
43. Bejewelled French Pedi
If you're looking to elevate your French pedi but still keep it classic, opt for nail jewels along the base of your big toenail to add some sparkle to your look. This look is very effective for DIY as it isn't difficult. When applying gems to your toenails, we recommend using tweezers or a rhinestone applicator to position the gems, then use false nail adhesive to keep them in place.
44. Fierce Pink Pedi
Hot pink toenails are the perfect summer statement. These nails can be easily achieved at home, or if you fancy the pampering, book a pedicure appointment and treat yourself. This color combines perfectly with white linen and light denim for the summer months and we recommend a matching mani for the ultimate dazzling effect.
45. Neutral Pedi
A classic design for a reason. Whatever style and color of footwear you'll be wearing this season, a muted, neutral pedicure is a perfect accessory. When selecting the perfect nude, consider your undertone. Warmer-toned nudes will usually help brighten a cooler complexion, while those with olive or warm undertones naturally can get away with cooler neutral shades.
46. Two Tone Nails
If you're stuck deciding between colors, opt for these two-tone nails which are easy to create at home. To recreate this look, choose two contrasting colors and paint half of your big toenail in each color. Then, take a toothpick or small makeup brush and paint on the black leaf design. If you're feeling artsy, feel free to get creative with the design.
47. Animal Print Nails
If looking for a daring nail design, opt for an animal print such as this dazzling leopard print nail art. If contemplating a DIY method, we recommend collecting a range of nail gems to make the look stand out, and if going to the salon, ask for them to incorporate your selected animal print into the rest of the pedicure. By making each nail a different variation on the original print, you'll never tire of this look.
48. Intricate Patterns
Intricate professionally-created pedicure designs are the perfect way to put a smile on your face this season. Taking time out of your day to go to the nail salon is the perfect form of self-care, opt for an intricate design to maximize the experience. With a mix of bright colors and various shapes, this pedicure will pair perfectly with colorful clothes.
49. Black and White Florals
Looking to reimagine classic colors? Opt for this black and white floral design. The color blocking on some of the nails divides up the floral design, so these nails can be paired with sandals for the evening for party glam.
50. Smiley Toes
Green is perfect for brighter days and the addition of smiley faces elevates this look from a traditional 'Kermit green' pedi. This design can be easily created at home with a fluorescent green shade and white nail varnish, to use as a base coat for your big toenails. To create smiley faces, use a small makeup brush.
What should a good pedicure include?
In the salon, a pedicure should usually include nail cleaning, trimming, and filing plus cuticle work. You can also expect dead skin removal around the heels and balls of the foot and moisturization of the skin. Then the nails should be painted, usually with a base coat, a minimum of two coats of color and top coat. Added extras such as a foot scrub or massage are often included in more luxurious salons or at higher price brackets.
At home, a little bit of foot prep can go a long way, pre-painting. Follow these tips from expert podiatrist Dina Gohil of Mayfair Clinic, DG Podiatrist, and Brand Ambassador for CCS Foot Care:
- File: "Hard skin can build up and form callused, cracked heels which can turn into deep, painful cuts called fissures. If this is the case, use a foot file or pumice stone during the week to gradually break down and remove dead skin cells. Follow up with a generous layer of heel balm."
- Hydrate: "It’s important to use a daily specialist foot care cream and not just a regular body lotion. Ideally, look for one which contains a high quantity of urea, a keratolytic agent which helps maintain moisture levels, reduces the build-up of callus, breaks down hard skin, and helps the uptake of water in the epidermis."
- Shape: "Cut the toenails regularly using nail clippers or nail scissors – and remember to leave a small, white free edge. For hygiene purposes, clean your nail tools and don’t share them with anyone else!"
- Peel: "If you’re looking to ditch dry, dead skin fast, then try exfoliating socks. Just pop the socks on and clip them with the seal, then relax with your feet up for 60 minutes. They contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which help loosen dead skin whilst moisturizers in the formula condition the feet. It can take between 1-7 days for the socks to work their magic, then the dead and hard skin starts to shed from the feet to leave the skin soft and supple."
What is the best shape for toenails?
Experts agree that a square toenail shape is best to prevent hangnails and painful ingrown toenails. Qualified nail techs will always aim for this shape (hence why you won't be asked what shape you prefer with a pedicure, as you are with a manicure)
At home, "Ensure your toenails are dry before clipping, as clipping wet nails can cause them to tear, bend, or not cut smoothly," advises Fides Baldesberger, beauty tool expert and CEO of Rubis Tweezers. "Use a nail clipper and make small cuts to avoid splintering the nail and cut straight across. To lessen the chance of the nail becoming ingrown, don't round off the corners. Once they're your preferred length you can then use a nail file to shape the corners and edges."
Our beauty editor recommends...
OPI Clear Nail Varnish Top Coat | RRP: $16/£14.50
A good top coat is the way to make your DIY pedicure look salon-standard. A top coat will give your nail a stunning shine and prevent the polish from chipping. Make sure you choose a completely clear top coat, like this OPI option, so you don't obscure your nail art.
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Rhiannon Derbyshire is the Senior Beauty Editor for Woman & Home and other publications.
She started interning for glossy magazines while working alongside her Fashion Journalism degree. There, she was lured to the beauty desk, seduced by matte lipsticks, posh shampoos, and every skincare product imaginable. 10+ years into her career, she can confidently tell you why the best mascaras are always high street, and why SPF is a non-negotiable all year round. Ask her about her curly hair routine, skincare minimalism, and how to find the exact right red lipstick
- Fiona McKimBeauty Editor, womanandhome.com
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